Chewy Sweet Coconut Bars Recipe

Bar cookies are one of the simplest baked goods to make. With no major kneading or shaping of individual treats required, they combine convenience, versatility, and deliciousness all in one easy-to-make package. Among so many different types of bar cookies, from the citrusy lemon bar to a sweet and salty chocolate peanut butter bar, there's a treat for everyone to enjoy. If you're a fan of the flavor of coconut, this recipe for chewy sweet coconut bars is one you will want to try. 

Created by recipe developer Jessica Morone, these bars have a rich, golden crust and shredded coconut in not one, but two forms: folded into the sweet, gooey filling and toasted for a lightly crispy topping. "My favorite thing about these bars is how buttery they are," Morone says. "With butter in the crust and the filling, they are just so decadent. You won't be able to eat just one of these — you may end up eating the whole pan yourself like I did." 

Gather the ingredients for chewy sweet coconut bars

You only need 8 ingredients for these coconut bars, many of which may already be in your pantry. First, you'll use sweetened shredded coconut for both the topping and the filling. From there, you'll need butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt for the crust. Finally, the filling calls for more flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt, plus eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Step 2: Prepare the coconut topping

Make the topping: Place 1 cup shredded coconut on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 3: Bake the coconut until golden

Toast in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside, keeping the oven on.

Step 4: Prepare a square baking pan

Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

Step 5: Combine butter and brown sugar for the crust

Make the crust: Add melted butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and mix until combined.

Step 6: Add flour and salt

Add flour and salt and mix until a moist dough forms.

Step 7: Press the crust into the baking pan

Press dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Step 8: Bake the crust

Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.

Step 9: Add the filling ingredients to a bowl

Make the filling: Add flour, brown sugar, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt to a large bowl.

Step 10: Whisk until smooth

Whisk together until smooth.

Step 11: Add the coconut

Add the 2 cups untoasted coconut, as well as half of the toasted coconut, and mix until combined.

Step 12: Pour the filling into the baking pan

Pour filling over the baked crust.

Step 13: Sprinkle on the toasted coconut

Sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top.

Step 14: Bake

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center is set.

Step 15: Cut and serve

Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting and serving.

How should I store leftover coconut bars?

Depending on how large you slice the bars, this recipe makes 12-16 servings, so you may need to store leftovers. Luckily, this dessert holds up pretty well, and there are a few different ways to keep it fresh. If you think your bars will be eaten within a few days, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days. To keep them fresh for slightly longer, you can keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Or, if you want to keep leftovers for a much longer time, you can also put them in the freezer. Wait for the baked bars to cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag. Once frozen, they can be kept for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature before enjoying them again.

What can I serve with coconut bars?

As is the case with any bar cookie, you can certainly eat these coconut bars all on their own, whether packed into a plastic bag for dessert after lunch or served on a plate for an evening sweet. However, they go well with plenty of accompaniments. For example, you could serve these with any fresh fruit, such as mango or papaya to pair with the tropical flavor of coconut. Tea or coffee are the ideal beverages to wash these bars down, as their slight bitterness can help balance out the sweetness of the sugar and condensed milk.

You could also top these bars with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream for additional decadence, with their cool creaminess pairing beautifully with the chewiness of the coconut. You could also drizzle some chocolate syrup on top, channeling the classic combination of Bounty or Mounds candy bars.

Chewy Sweet Coconut Bars Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
The ultimate coconut treat, these buttery, gooey bars have toasted coconut flavor in both the filling and topping and come together incredibly easily.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
12
bars
Chewy sweet coconut bar on a plate
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the topping
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • For the crust
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the filling
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Make the topping: Place 1 cup shredded coconut on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Toast in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside, keeping the oven on.
  4. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
  5. Make the crust: Add melted butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and mix until combined.
  6. Add flour and salt and mix until a moist dough forms.
  7. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.
  9. Make the filling: Add flour, brown sugar, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt to a large bowl.
  10. Whisk together until smooth.
  11. Add the 2 cups untoasted coconut, as well as half of the toasted coconut, and mix until combined.
  12. Pour filling over the baked crust.
  13. Sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top.
  14. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center is set.
  15. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting and serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 453
Total Fat 24.0 g
Saturated Fat 16.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 88.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 54.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 41.6 g
Sodium 263.0 mg
Protein 6.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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